Wednesday, March 10, 2010

50 books in 2010--update #2 (10 weeks, 10 books)

I'm so glad that I started this 50 books in a year challenge. Every time I sit down with a book, I know that I am doing something purely for myself. And that is a feeling that I've rarely felt in the last 5 years! I still love my TV shows and watch a lot of them, but getting lost in a book is much more gripping than any show could be. I'm glad I reminded myself of that.

Now, 10 weeks into the new year, I have read 10 books. I tend to read in spurts, a couple books in one week and then nothing for a while, but overall I'm staying on track.  This is about the time of year that I tend to lose steam with my New Year's Resolutions, so I'm happy that I am still reading, and that I'm still posting on this blog. Even though I'm no longer posting daily, like I had originally intended, at least I'm here! Both of these challenges are much easier to stick with than an diet, so perhaps that's why I'm having more success.

But, I've discovered that my memory is not what it used to be. I was discussing the challenge with a friend last week, and for the life of me, I couldn't remember the names of the books I had read so far. Good thing I'm keeping a list! Here they are...

1. Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
The latest novel in one of my favorite series, the Inspector Lynley mysteries. While this was an easy read, in my opinion it did not live up to her earlier works. Too bad. I was so looking forward to it. Her previous book was disappointing too. Hmmm....perhaps it's time to find a new favorite series.

2. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
Hubby gave me this book two Christmases ago and it has been sitting on my bedside table since then. (See how much I needed this challenge?!) He thought it sounded interesting, and indeed it was. A mystery originally written in Norwegian, partly set in present day Norway and partly with Norwegian forces in WWII, it was a little hard to get into, but definitely a good read by the end.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A good friend suggested this book, and I am so glad she did!! I enjoyed this more than any other book that I have read in recent memory. The characters and themes in this "Survivor"esque reality tale were so gripping that I couldn't put this book down. 

4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The sequel to the previous book, this book was also interesting. Not quite as riveting as the Hunger Games (perhaps because some of the plot lines that were so shocking in the first book are now familiar parts of the story), but it definitely left me eager for the 3rd book in this trilogy, due out in August. Consider that book another one of the 50 I will read this year.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Several people suggested this book when they heard that I was looking for reading suggestions, so I had to check it out. This was another book that took me a little while to get into, but ended up being an interesting and satisfying Swedish mystery. And this led me to another sequel I am eager to read. Who knew 2010 would be the year I discovered Scandinavian mysteries?

6. Among Thieves by David Hosp
Another book that Hubby picked out for me! This book tells the story of what might have happened during the infamous art heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. As I actually visited this museum several times as a child, it was a fun read.

7. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 
I loved The DaVinci Code, and Angels & Demons, but I had heard that this book was not as good. So instead of buying it as I tend to do (bookstores are like a close friend that always picks my pocket!) I actually requested it through the local library. It took a few weeks to come in, but since I was busy reading the previous books, it didn't really matter. And I was glad I didn't buy it. Definitely not as good as his earlier work, and not a book I would read again.

8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I felt like I must be the only person in the world who had not read this book after so many people suggested it. I'm generally not one for romance novels, so I had no interest in it, especially after I saw that it had been made into a cheesy looking film. But I figured so many fans couldn't be wrong, and when I saw it on sale for $3.99, how could I go wrong? And I did enjoy the book. It was a bit confusing at times, but definitely an interesting concept. 

9. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
I loved Dr. Verghese's memoir My Own Country, so when I saw that he had written a novel, I knew I had to pick it up. An interesting tale of family, medicine, and destiny that winds from India to Ethiopia to America and back again.

10. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
As I barely have time to read, I certainly never have the free time to go to the movies. But since there's been so much chatter about this Leo & Scorcese film, I figured I could at least check out the book. This was another easy read, but midway through the book, I predicted the final twist coming, so the book was not as mindbending or surprising as I expected. Oh well.

I have a few more books on my bedside table that are waiting to be tackled, but I certainly don't have 40 more ideas. I would love some more suggestions! If you can, please post in the comments and let me know what you're reading now. Or name some of your past favorites!


  1. That's so neat you are doing that. When I think of my favorite book, I keep thinking about Nanny diaries, which was also made into a movie. I don't know if it's because I've experienced being a nanny, but I defiantly related to the authors of the book. I just loved it!

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Bettina! I have seen that movie, but not read the book. I didn't know you were a nanny!

  3. I was looking for a 50 books update. I'm am just about on the same track. I think I have 11 read so far. I'm so glad I jumped on this bandwagon with you!!

  4. What have you read Sarah? Any new faves to recommend?

  5. Another good and powerful book.... The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack. Have you read it? Set in Eurpoe during World War II.